11 Films That Influenced Jordan Peele, and Where to Watch Them in Australia

jordan peele favourite movies nope

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year for horror fans across Australia, because Jordan Peele‘s NOPE is finally hitting cinemas.

NOPE is the third film Peele has written and directed, following Get Out and Us. Get Out was nominated for four Academy Awards — including Peele for Best Director — and won Best Original Screenplay.

Daniel Kaluuya — who was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his work in Get Out — has now reunited with Peele for NOPE.

In NOPE, Kaluuya plays OJ Haywood, a ranch owner who bears witness to an uncanny and chilling discovery. NOPE also stars Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun and Brandon Perea.

To celebrate, we thought we’d look back on some of Peele’s past interviews, where he’s spoken about his favourite horror films, and the films that have influenced him the most.

Unsurprisingly, the list is nothing short of iconic, and features a ton of classic, must-see flicks for any horror fan. There’s HalloweenA Nightmare on Elm Street, and even Australia’s very own The Babadook.

Here are 11 films Jordan Peele loves, that you will, too.

Related: These Films Influenced ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 — So You Can Watch Them After Volume 2

Related: These 10 Classic Horror Films Prove That New Isn’t Always Better


Directed by: Ridley Scott

Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt

Synopsis: The crew of a commercial spacecraft encounter a deadly lifeform after investigating an unknown transmission.

Jordan Peele says: While ranking horror films for Fear, Peele said that Alien was one of the “best designed” films of all-time, tied only with A Nightmare on Elm Street, which he eventually crowned as his favourite horror film of all time.


Where to watch in Australia: Watch Alien on Disney+

The Babadook

Directed by: Jennifer Kent

Starring: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall

Synopsis: A single mother and her child fall into a deep well of paranoia when an eerie children’s book titled “Mister Babadook” manifests in their home.

Jordan Peele says: “It’s a movie about… something different than it’s about, and it scared the pants off of me,” Peele told Fear.


Where to watch in Australia: Watch The Babadook on iView.

The Fly

Directed by: David Cronenberg

Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz

Synopsis: A brilliant but eccentric scientist begins to transform into a giant man/fly hybrid after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong.

Jordan Peele says: Chatting to the Wall Street Journal, Peele credited The Fly as “the first horror movie that really got [him]”.

“So scary, so inappropriate for how old I was, and yet I was able to watch it and understand it and by the end, I felt less scared than I did before watching it,” he added. “That’s how I knew the power of horror.”


Where to watch in Australia: Stream The Fly on Disney+


Directed by: John Carpenter

Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Tony Moran

Synopsis: Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois to kill again.

Jordan Peele’s thoughts: In a recent tweet replying to writer and comic illustrator Adam Ellis, Peele wrote that he wouldn’t “tolerate any John Carpenter slander”, after Ellis tweeted that it was time to crown Peele as the best horror director of all time.

While chatting to the Wall Street Journal, Peele crowned Michael Myers as his favourite horror villain, saying: “He’s not even evil; he’s just curious.”

He explained: “You know you can’t talk him out of whatever he wants to do. He always does that thing where he’d stab somebody and turn his head — which is the international symbol for ‘fascinating’.”


Where to watch in Australia: Stream Halloween on Stan


Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss

Synopsis: When a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach community off Cape Cod, it’s up to a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to hunt the beast down.

Jordan Peele says:Jaws is debatably the greatest movie of any genre, of all-time,” Peele told Fear.


Where to watch in Australia: Watch Jaws on BINGE

Let the Right One In

Directed by: Tomas Alfredson

Starring: Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar

Synopsis: Oskar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl.

Jordan Peele’s thoughts: “It’s one of the most beautiful horror movies of all time,” Peele told Fear, adding that it has “possibly the greatest shot in horror history”, referencing that shot in the pool (if you know you know!).


Where to watch in Australia: Watch Let the Right One In on Stan

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Directed by: Wes Craven

Starring: Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund

Synopsis: Teenager Nancy Thompson must uncover the dark truth concealed by her parents after she and her friends become targets of the spirit of a serial killer with a bladed glove in their dreams, in which if they die, it kills them in real life.

Jordan Peele says: “Nightmare on Elm Street is just — it’s iconic,” he told Fear. It goes down with Alien for me as probably the best design of any horror movie in history.”

He continued: “The Freddy Krueger character design is a villain that, that’s a special type of boogeyman that I don’t think we’ve come close to since.”


Where to watch in Australia: Watch A Nightmare on Elm Street on Stan

Rosemary’s Baby

Directed by: Roman Polanski

Starring: Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon

Synopsis: A young couple trying for a baby moves into an aging, ornate apartment building on Central Park West, where they find themselves surrounded by peculiar neighbors.

Jordan Peele says: While chatting with Criterion about Get Out, Peele credited Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby as a major source of inspiration.

“Rosemary uses her instincts as a new mother to protect herself and her child,” he said. “On a subtle level, her personality and point of view are helping her out. And it’s the same with Chris. His blackness is what allows him to perceive that something sinister is going on.”


Where to watch in Australia: Watch Rosemary’s Baby on Stan

The Shining

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd

Synopsis: A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and futre.

Jordan Peele’s thoughts: Peele told the Wall Street Journal that Shelley Duvall’s performance in The Shining is his favourite horror movie performance.

“She did a perfect job of committing to the fear, and from that, brought the horror to the movie,” he said.

While chatting with Fear, Peele said that the film also has his “favourite shot in all of horror, where Shelley Duvall’s running with the knife outside of the snow-covered Overlook [Hotel]”.


Where to watch in Australia: Rent The Shining on AppleTV

Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight

Directed by: Ernest R. Dickerson

Starring: Billy Zane, William Sadle, rJada Pinkett Smith

Synopsis: High-level demons collect low-level demons as warriors in attempt to obtain a key containing the blood of Christ. The key is guarded by immortal warriors called Demon Knights.

Jordan Peele’s thoughts: Peele told the Wall Street Journal that Jeryline, Jada Pinkett Smith’s character in Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight, is the Final Girl he relates to the most, “because she’s Black”.

“She’s like the first Black Final Girl that I can remember.”


Where to watch in Australia: Rent Tales From the Crypt: Demon Knight on AppleTV

Under the Skin

Directed by: Jonathan Glazer

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy McWilliams, Lynsey Taylor Mackay

Synopsis: A mysterious young woman seduces lonely men in the evening hours in Scotland. However, events lead her to begin a process of self-discovery.

Jordan Peele’s thoughts:Under the Skin, for me is a special film,” Peele told Fear. “It has one of those aesthetics as a filmmaker that you watch where you’re like ‘how did Jonathan Glazer even do that?'”

He continued: “Everything looks so specific — the photography is so beautiful [and it] has a perfect score.”


Where to watch in Australia: Watch Under the Skin on Prime Video

NOPE is in HOYTS cinemas on August 11, 2022, and you can buy tickets here.

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